2012-2013 Summaries

 

05-18-2013 Skier injured in East Snowfields

A skier fell near the bottom of the East Snowfields, on the summit cone of Mt. Washington. He told us that his ski contacted a hidden rock buried beneath a thin amount of snow. This caused him to fall, which sent him over the top of a large rock and he landed on a pile of more rocks. A friend of the skier notified personnel at the Mount Washington State Park, who contacted USFS Snow Rangers in Tuckerman Ravine. The skier was splinted for a pelvic injury, and then packaged for evacuation. He was hauled uphill in a rescue litter to the Auto Road. A large number of skiers assisted with the hauling operation, as well as State Park and USFS personnel.  He was transported down the Auto Road in a State Park vehicle, to an ambulance at the base.

04-27-2013 Four incidents in Tuckerman

This was a very busy day in the ravine, in part because it was the first Saturday this season with really nice spring weather. The first incident was a dislocated shoulder resulting from a fall in Left Gully. After an unsuccessful attempted to reduce the dislocation, the patient and his party were able to walk themselves out from the ravine.

Shortly after the first, a skier fell in the Sluice area, resulting in a lower leg injury. Within minutes of this fall, another skier fell in the Lip, suffering a significant head laceration. Both patients were evacuated by Snow Rangers, the MWVSP, the AMC caretaker, and a large number of volunteers.

The fourth incident was sustained on the lower part of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. A hiker punctured his lower leg on a broken branch when stepping off the trail. He was able to continue hiking.

03-07-2013 Skier injured on Tuckerman Ravine Trail

A skier suffered a lower leg injury while descending the Tuckerman Ravine trail on skis. He and his partner had been skiing the Cutler River streambed, and had bushwacked back to the hiking trail due to thick vegetation. They were working toward a crossover to the Sherburne Ski Trail when he caught his ski tip on the edge of the trail. Snow Rangers were in the vicinity at the time of the accident, and found the skier on the side of the trail. They transported him to the base, from here he was transported to the hospital in his partner’s vehicle.

03-01-2013 Avalanche fatality in Pinnacle Gully

A solo ice climber died as a result of injuries sustained in an avalanche in Pinnacle Gully. On Friday, March 1, the climber left the HMC cabin near the base of Huntington Ravine intending to climb multiple gullies. Based on earlier conversations and tracking his foot prints in new snow, we believe he had climbed the ice pitches in Odell Gully, then descended a snow ramp into the bottom of South Gully before heading up into Pinnacle. While climbing what would be the 2nd pitch for a roped party, approximately 2/3 of the way up the route, the climber triggered a slab avalanche which carried him downslope. He was found by a hiker half way down the Fan, (the talus slope in the lower portion of the ravine) at approximately 3pm. The hiker, who is a physician, called 911 to report the accident. He reported that the victim had no vital signs and was deceased. USFS Snow Rangers responded from Hermit Lake to the scene. They located the victim, confirmed his status, and prepared him for transport to Pinkham Notch.

These details that follow are conclusions based on our investigation and information supplied by parties that climbed the route the following day. The avalanche released in the upper portion of the second pitch of the ice climb, just below a narrowing formed by exposed rock in the gully. The crown line was located about 20-30 feet uphill of where we believe the climber was when the avalanche released. It was 2’ deep, 20’ wide, and slid on a bed surface of water ice.  Avalanche danger on the day of the incident was rated Moderate.

Crown line is visible in this photo just below the rock constriction.

Crown line is visible in this photo just below the rock constriction.

02-23-2013 Climbers stranded on Damnation Buttress

Three climbers became stranded on steep rocky terrain after they climbed off route. USFS Snow Rangers and Mountain Rescue Service volunteers , along with assistance from the Mt. Washington Observatory and AMC and HMC caretakers, located and rescued the climbers without injury. More details will be posted soon.

02-23-2013 Fall on Lion Head Winter Route

On the descent from a summit hike, a hiker fell approximately 50′ down a steep section of the Lion Head route. He injured his lower leg in the fall. One member of the man’s party quickly hiked to Hermit Lake to notify USFS Snow Rangers. At the same time, a distress signal was sent using a SPOT  satellite device. Snow Rangers responded, found the man ambulatory, and transported him to Pinkham Notch via snow tractor.

01-17-2013 Avalanche in Central Gully

On Thursday, January 19, 2013 a party with a total group size of 12 was ascending Central Gully in Huntington Ravine when one rope team triggered a soft slab avalanche from the top of the route. The avalanche swept over the three other rope teams, carrying one team of three to the bottom of the gully. This team was not buried, but sustained injuries. The remaining three teams were able to rappel the route.

Click here for the detailed accident summary and analysis.

01-10-2013 Call for Assistance

On Thursday January 10, 2012 two climbers on the floor of Huntington Ravine called 911, stating they were lost and had spent the night bivouaced under a large rock. The GPS coordinates provided by their cell phone placed the individuals near the Gulf of Slides Ski trail, the 911 caller stated and then reconfirmed that they were indeed in Huntington Ravine. Two Snow Rangers and the Harvard Cabin caretaker hiked into Huntington Ravine to locate the party. Within several hundred yards of the trail the party was found, low in the Fan among the boulders. The two climbers stated that they spent 4-5 hours in the dark wandering around in the Fan looking for the trail down then decided to find a place to spend the night and wait for first light. The two were accompanied to the trail and then brought to Harvard Cabin.

12-18-2012 2 Reported – 2 Climbers Avalanched in Pinnacle Gully

Two climbers approaching Pinnacle Gully reported that they were swept down 70 to 100 meters from the start of the first ice pitch in Pinnacle Gully. In waist to chest deep snow the lead individual triggered the avalanche as he approached the ice from the north. The fracture occurred above the climber and was approximately 5 meters below the transition to steep ice. Neither climber was buried in the incident and no injuries were sustained.